Oh dear, it has been a long time, I apologies all, sometimes the boring realities of life get in the way of your core passions. I’m going to try to keep this post as brief as possible, no babbling, just some photography & information.
So, I went to the USA for a road trip to visit some good friends, Francis, Eastman & Laura – and it was awesome! I wont be writing about the whole trip on this post as I mainly wanted to focus on the two surprisingly good cafes I found in Oberlin, Ohio.
With my Aeropress, Porlex grinder and beans with me, I was fully prepared for drinking coffee on this road trip. However my friend suggested that I visit the two best cafes in Oberlin: The Local and Slow Train Cafe. The Local was entered downstairs and had a homely warm interior and even a ‘customer mug shelf’ so you could leave your favorite mug there to use whenever you stopped by. As it is set underground it has a very cosy cafe feel perfect for escaping into coffee hibernation or studying.
I suppose I was naive to think a vibrant coffee community might be missing from such a small American town. In fact the town is home to Oberlin University of Arts where an array of students were bound to demand a good cuppa during break. Both cafes serve a good choice of coffees from Six Shooter, Duck Rabbit, Rising Star and City Roast which are all based in Cleveland. My macchiato in The Local was beautifully citrus yet floral and served just how a macchiato should be!
Slow Train Cafe was much more of an open space with a coffee and alcoholic beverage bar. The were are covered in art work from the Oberlin students. It’s the kind of friendly place where other like minded creatives meet, I ended up meeting another photographer here. I ordered an iced piccolo which was a perfect powerful hit that I needed whilst exploring Cleveland in the heat. Despite The Local serving top quality coffee, they still kept to their American style filter from a classic batch brewing filter machine – a lovely independent American cafe style.
When my American friend Francis was in London she would say “you guys really don’t know how to do breakfast here”. It wasn’t until I went to visit Black River Cafe that I realised what she meant – these guys seriously know how to do breakfast! Owner Joe Waltzer has nailed the foodie menu here from badass pancakes, fresh morning muffins, grits, home fries and so much more. Their dinner menu changes regularly serving fresh and local produce from the surrounding area, even the left overs go to the local pigs down the road, so no waste!
Our next stop was Montgomery, Alabama. It was crazy just how humid it was here, and the air filled with the sound of a cicadas orchestra. We went to a traditional old farmers market (Montgomery Curb Market) where we tried boiled peanuts… yes boiled peanuts are actually a thing. They actually tasted like potato with a similar texture (image below).
Oh and we went to a dog show, obviously had to be done! Look at these mental haircuts..
In classic American road trip style we stopped off at so many ‘gas stations’ I lost count. Their gas stations are nothing like ours as it’s so normal in America to drive for hours on end that some of them even have their own ‘Truckers Chapel Service’.
Our trip ended in Florida where we stayed at Francis mum’s house in New Port Richey which sat right on the Cotee River which goes out to the gulf of Mexico. It was such a beautiful quaint Floridian town, with traditional styled Floridian houses and most people had a boat if they were by the river.
This was the view that I woke up to! The deck on the river was the perfect morning coffee spot!
We took the boat out down to Durney Key Island which was a tiny island where we could stop off for a quick swim – the dogs loved it.
Model: Roxi Wilson
This was the perfect way to end the trip with a glimpse of the Midwest and surrounded by awesome people, so thanks guys!
© Amelia Hallsworth – Photography, Coffee, Food & Recipes 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amelia Hallsworth – Photography, Coffee, Food & Recipes with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.